US Equestrian Trade E-News


29th January, 2018.

A renowned horsewomen proves she knows a thing or two about fitting riding helmets.

Lisa Goretta of Ohio based Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supply has been named Charles Owen Helmet Fitter of the Month.

Lisa has been in equestrian retail for three decades and has had horses – starting in the hunter ring and then transitioning to dressage – for almost 50 years.

She is also a USEF Dressage Technical Delegate and was a steward at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

At Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supply, Lisa ensures that all of the store’s employees are fully qualified in proper helmet fitting.

She also works with local riding clubs and helps educate ride leaders on correct helmet fit.


29th January, 2018.


American farriers are working with fellow professionals from the UK under a new initiative.

The group of professional farriers has been networking with experts from the UK’s Royal Veterinary College (RVC) as they embark upon a new course.

The Graduate Diploma in Equine Locomotor Research (Grad Dip ELR) is tailored to the US-based farrier.

Residential weekends are held at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center.

The RVC Grad Dip ELR is already established in the UK. “It’s been launched in America to offer US-based professional farriers the chance to gain the necessary skillset to produce original research, increase the evidence-base behind farriery, and enhance equine welfare,” said spokesman for the RVC.

The course can be taken over a minimum of two and a maximum of five years. It’s delivered using a variety of methods including webinars, podcasts and face-to-face learning sessions.

The course is led by Professor in comparative imaging and biomechanics Renate Weller and senior lecturer in bioengineering Dr Thilo Pfau.

Professor Weller, development coach Dr Davis, and RVC tutor Dr Veronica Brewster visited the US last week to deliver the first module to 14 farriers over a weekend.

Attendees included Stephen Teichman, a farrier who travels the breadth of America in his work, and Daisy Bicking, who runs her own farriery business alongside teaching. Former serviceman Jim Laclaire was set to retire as a farrier before deciding to apply for the RVC course.

Commenting on the weekend, Jim said: “This weekend for me was incredible! Once I overcame the fear of the unknown I realised we all had one common goal. That was a magnificent feeling.

“The team from the UK was incredible. It was the pleasure of my life to meet everyone. What a fantastic group of professionals with one common goal. I think the industry will benefit greatly by allowing us to take this to the next level.”

Fellow student Tim Shannon added: “I found that we all have diverse backgrounds and skillsets and we are all united by this passion about learning and making our industry better.”

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a constituent College of the University of London.


29th January, 2018.


Significant savings are on offer to companies planning to exhibit at BETA International 2019. But don’t delay…

BETA International organisers have a discount plan for exhibitors who book early for next year’s show.

But companies need to act soon. The booking deadline is 2 March to take advantage.

Exhibitors can save themselves a total of 7.5% net on the cost of their stand space by using the combined early commitment and prompt payment schemes. (Terms and conditions apply.)

In order to qualify:
• Space must be booked by 2 March
• Deposits must be paid by 21 September, and
• Full payment made by 9 November.

Eligible exhibitors will receive their discounts in the form of a rebate payment made during March 2019.

BETA International 2019 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, on Sunday to Tuesday, 20 - 22 January.

To find out more about exhibiting, contact James Palmer, tel +44 (0)1937 582111, email or visit

BETA International 2018 – a big hit with the trade

28th January, 2018.


BETA International 2018 certainly lived up to its reputation as the unmissable trade buying event for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products as it welcomed 4,044 visitors* and almost 300 exhibitors from across the UK and overseas to the NEC, Birmingham from 21 to 23 January.

This world-class industry event flagged up some of the finest products and services on the market, with many unveiled for the very first time. Everyone from buyers at small independent stores to purchasing teams at multinational retail chains visited the show over the three days, taking their place among friends and colleagues for this annual trade gathering with its golden networking opportunities.

ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart was back by popular demand to host Talking Business, BETA International's red-hot industry debate in The Charles Owen Hub on Sunday 21 January. Members of this year's discussion panel were NEC Conventions and Exhibitions MD Kathryn James, political commentator John Arnold, Charles Owen/Airowear chairman Roy Burek, Pony Club chief executive Rhian Gibson and Bransby Horses chief executive Jo Snell.

The debate looked at Brexit as a friend or foe, whether flash sales were a knee-jerk reaction with short-term gain but disastrous long-term consequences and the role of trade shows as part of the retail supply chain in the 21st century.

The Charles Owen Hub remained a hive activity throughout the show, with a full programme of seminars taking place on each of the days, including Training Tuesday, which was dedicated to retailer education and learning.

Each session was retailer-specific, covering subjects such as visual merchandising, the Consumer Rights Act 2015, customer sales and saddle fitting. James Wishart's SQP seminar Redworms with Green Genes carried 10 CPD points and Claire Williams's seminar Update on Safety Standards and Rules provided 5 CPD points for BETA-trained City & Guilds safety garment fitters.

Visitors were delighted to meet the show's celebrity guests, Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen, eventing hero William Fox-Pitt and Paralympic dressage rider Sophie Christiansen. In an illustrated interview, Amanda spoke of her life at Ravenseat – a remote hill farm in North Yorkshire. The mother of nine works there alongside her husband, Clive, as a shepherd, caring for her beloved flock of Swaledale sheep. In addition to her television appearances and writing – she has already had two books published and has her own column in a national newspaper and magazine – Amanda is a keen photographer and brought along some fantastic examples of her work.

William discussed the highs and lows of his career as a top event rider, the horses that have meant the world to him and his road to recovery following a cross-country fall at Le Lion d'Angers in 2015 and subsequent selection for the Rio Olympics. Meanwhile, Sophie Christiansen spoke of her hopes for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo in an interview peppered with amusing anecdotes.

Fashion remained a powerful theme throughout BETA International, with the Equithème Fashion Show highlighting some of the sassiest forthcoming autumn/winter collections to date. Buyers took their seats at the edge of the catwalk as rider wear and country clothing was put under the spotlight and models danced to some seriously foot-tapping tunes as they showed off garments from sponsor Equithème, Montar, Toggi, Tredstep Ireland, Covalliero, Derriere Equestrian, Horseware Products, Champion and Baleno.

The spirit of competition is keenly felt at BETA International and this year's prestigious Innovation Awards were highly prized, as usual. Sponsored by Equestrian Trade News, the show's official media partner, they attracted a large number of entries across each of the eight categories.

A carefully selected panel of judges had the difficult task of deciding on the winning products. This year, they were independent equine nutritionist Clare MacLeod, retail manager Wendy Beal, of R&R Country's Melton Mowbray store, Wendy Hofstee, owner of riding holiday company Unicorn Trails, show rider and producer Oliver Hood, master saddler and harness maker – and owner of M Miller Saddlery – Michelle Miller and Blacks Vets Tracey Morley Jewkes.

Winners were presented with their awards by ETN editor Liz Benwell and advertising sales executive Beth Crow. They were: Extremities with the Antares beanie (Country Clothing & Footwear), MS & TJ Haylage with Pure hay (Feed & Supplements), Horseware Products with the Horsepal 1.01 horse monitor (General) and long Micklem girth (Saddlery & Tack), Treehouse with the AeroChill cooling rug (Horsecare Equipment & [Horse] Clothing), OSS Distribution with the Sticky Trap (Pet Products), Baleno with the Waterfield riding jacket (Rider Clothing & Footwear) and Inivo Studs with Rescuestuds (Safety & Security).

BETA International is renowned for its top-class exhibition stands and all the hard work it takes to create polished and professional retail environments is recognised and rewarded with the show's Best Stand Awards. Each exhibitor is automatically entered into the competition, which was independently judged by visual merchandising expert Kirsty Kean, of Visual Thinking, and Claire Hogarth, of Bransby Horses, the show's chosen charity for 2018. After touring the halls, they selected Musto as winner of the Best Large Stand Award (32 sq m and over) and WildWash for the Best Small Stand Award (under 32 sq m).

Pet n Pony, of Durham, won the Neue Schule Social Media Award, which is designed to reward the company's stockists for excellence in social media practice.

The Society of Master Saddlers showcased the high standard of British saddlery with daily competitions for apprentices and students from Capel Manor College. Sunday's challenge to make a cob-size pair of cheeks with hook studs was won by Lucy Ellis, of Andy Wheals the Saddleman, with second-year Capel Manor College student Megan Webb securing a win on Monday for her raised brow band and Tuesday's competition to make an Irish martingale – a project revealed only on the day – was claimed by first-year Capel Manor College student Tara Griffin.

Winners of the show's awards were announced and presented with their prizes during a special ceremony on the Fashion Show stage where visitors and exhibitor gathered to congratulate them. This was followed by after-show drinks, with everyone enjoying canapés and glasses of bubbly and soft drinks as they networked and enjoyed chatting to industry colleagues and friends.

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas was extremely pleased with the trade's response to to the show. “We have received some great feedback from exhibitors and visitors who have enjoyed a highly successful three days,” she said. “Everyone pulled out all the stops to make 2018 a fantastic and really memorable show with some amazing stands, fabulous products and plenty of quality buyers.

“We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who supported the show and to our sponsors – Neue Schule, Charles Owen, Equithème, Equestrian Trade News, Henson Franklyn, Hy, NAF, Schockemöhle Sports, Shires Equestrian Products, Stubbs England and Toggi – who really make this all possible.”

BETA International 2019 will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 20 to 22 January. For information about exhibiting at the trade fair, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email * Visitor figures awaiting ABC audit

Contact: Deborah Hayward, BETA International Press Officer
Telephone: 01765 635314/01937 582111
Mobile: 07812 374264

Celebrating the best at BETA International 2018

21st January, 2018.


The brightest and very best new products were celebrated in the Innovation Awards – leading industry accolades – during BETA International 2018, at the NEC, Birmingham, on Sunday 21 January.

Sponsored by Equestrian Trade News magazine – the show's official media partner – the awards seek to raise the profile of craftsmanship, design, technology and invention. Every exhibitor is invited to enter products in the competition, provided they have not appeared on the market more than 12 months before the show.

All entries across the awards’ eight categories were considered by an independent judging panel made up of industry experts – independent equine nutritionist Clare MacLeod, managing director of Blacks Vets Tracey Morley Jewkes, retail manager of R&R Country's Melton Mowbray store Wendy Beal, showing rider and producer Oliver Hood, master saddler and harness maker Michelle Miller, who also owns M Miller Saddlery, and Unicorn Trails riding holiday company founder Wendy Hofstee.

“The standard of entries continues to grow year on year, which is incredibly encouraging and a fantastic endorsement of the industry, which is putting considerable sums of money into designing and developing genuinely new and innovative products and services,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “It was terribly exciting to see just who had won an award and we send our congratulations and best wishes to them all.”

The winners of the 2018 Innovation Awards are...

Company: Extremities
Product: Antares beanie
This fashionable-by-day beanie shows its real worth as daylight fades. The X Glo yarn in the design is 360° reflective when a light is shone on it in the dark.
Judges’ comments: “We think consumers will pay a premium for this good-quality product that is more stylish than traditional fluorescent headwear. Nice details include the fleece inner band.”

Company: MS and TS Haylage
Product: Pure hay
This compressed rye grass hay maintains nutritional quality with good protein, energy and fibre for horses not best suited to haylage, in a market that offers very little bagged rye grass hay.
Judges’ comments: “The company has spotted a gap in the market and will increase demand for rye grass hay. It is ‘clean’ hay with good, strong packaging.”

Highly commended
Company: Paskacheval
Product: Easy’Contact
This liquid product enhances the relaxation of the horse’s mouth when training or competing and improves the dialogue between the rider’s hand and horse’s mouth to obtain an elastic connection. It is particularly recommended for equines with a stiff mouth.
Judges’ comments: “Easy’Contact is a good-quality, non-messy product that is easy to apply, safe to use, looks good and should have wide market appeal.”

Company: Horseware Products
Product: Horsepal 1.01 horse monitor
This small monitor provides actual temperature and humidity data, and takes the guesswork out of choosing the correct blanket weight on any given day.
Judges’ comments: “We loved this product, which will have mass-market appeal and give equine owners peace of mind in knowing that their horse is warm enough.”

Highly commended
Company: Estride
Product: Estride
This multi-functional fitness tracker measures training time, stride count, gait pattern, session regularity, horse stability, calorie burn and other data needed to improve riding and ensure a horse’s good health.
Judges’ comments: “Estride is a fantastically innovative product that brings benefits to both horse and rider, with a more accurate understanding of movement and potentially improved performance through better understanding.”

Company: Treehouse
Product: AeroChill cooling rug
The rug is designed to aid in cooling a horse, alleviating heat exhaustion and helping muscle recovery. It is made of a super-absorbent polymer fibre fabric that pulls heat from the horse and improves blood circulation.
Judges’ comments: “The science behind this product is admirable. It is very good quality, realistically priced, useful in all disciplines and comes in fantastic packaging.”

Highly Commended
Company: Horseware Products
Product: Amigo Hero ACY Plus with air-conditioned yarn
This 900-denier fabric is air-blown, resulting in a tighter weave using less yarn and offering an incredibly durable, breathable and lightweight product.
Judges’ comments: “This is a great advancement in fabric technology, increasing horse comfort and satisfying consumer needs.”

Company: OSS Distribution
Product: Sticky Trap
This is a cheap, effective and eco-friendly glue that can be used as a fly trap to protect pets from small insects that can be irritating or harmful to them.
Judges’ comments: “The Sticky Trap has excellent commercial potential for retailers and boasts good labelling and packaging.”

Company: Baleno
Product: Waterfield riding jacket
A jacket with Flexothene fabric, which is robust and practical, the Waterfield is waterproof, has back vents for saddle access and plenty of pockets to keep items dry.
Judges’ comments: “At last we have a riding jacket that is truly waterproof, stretchy and vented, as well as being stylish and flattering, at a great price, with mass-market appeal.”

Highly commended
Company: Horseware Products
HW Air Mk 2 jacket
This competition jacket evolved from 3D mesh construction to single-layered, lightweight, cool-touch woven fabric with four-way stretch. The product is breathable and allows the rider good movement.
Judges’ comments: “The jacket didn’t jump out at us on the hanger, but it certainly had the wow factor when we tried it on. It is the lightest, super-stretchy and most comfortable competition jacket we have seen and we could barely feel we were wearing it.”

Company: Horseware Products
Product: Long Micklem girth
Horseware has created a girth that is ergonomically shaped for minimum slippage and maximum elbow comfort, developed following research on saddled horses put through various paces to establish saddle movement and its effect on pressure points on the horse’s elbow.
Judges’ comments: “We have never seen anything like this before. It is a very interesting idea using the Martingale groove and offered at a great price point in the market.”

Highly commended
Horsekraft Equestrian
Product: Pic-ha pad
This harness is a pad with an interchangeable gullet that fits underneath a driving or long reining pad to create a perfect fit.
Judges’ comments: “Horsekraft has come up with a very innovative product that is easy to use and adjust, boasting great quality and craftsmanship.”

Company: Rescuestuds
Product: Rescuestuds
The rescue remedy for loose stud holes, Rescuestuds fixes the problem when a stud won’t tighten, avoiding the cost of replacing a shoe.
Judges’ comments: “What a great product idea, really nicely packaged! It offers a solution to a problem and everyone will use it in an emergency. Passion comes through in the innovation.”

Highly commended
Company: Vale Brothers
Product: Gizahand LED whip
This whip with LED light is highly visible to road users and charged using a USB port providing constant light for 10 hours, flash mode for 14 and flashlight for 20.
Judges’ comments: “A simple but clever idea that fulfils safety criteria and offers a great margin to retailers. It could be expanded to different types of whip.”

BETA International is the leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2018 show is taking place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 21 to 23 January.

Contact: Deborah Hayward, BETA International Press Officer
Telephone: 01765 635314/01937 582111
Mobile: 07812 374264

US retailers invited to register for free pass


With only weeks to go until BETA International 2018, retailers in the US are being encouraged to pre-register for a free visitor pass to the show. Securing attendance will allow them to join industry counterparts from across the globe and put them first in line for some of the world's finest, most innovative and inspirational new products.

BETA International takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 21 to 23 January and features almost 300 exhibitors from the UK and overseas, placing European brands and products in easy reach of American retailers seeking new stock for their customers.

“A favourable exchange rate between the pound and dollar, and exclusive show offers make visiting a really attractive option, as our US visitors will have much greater buying power and the opportunity to build relationships with some prestigious, long-established British and European companies,” said BETA International sales manager James Palmer.

newscaster Hundreds of new products will be highlighted throughout the show, on stands and in the Shires New Product Gallery, and the latest, most exciting country and equestrian clothing will be put through its paces in the Equi Thème Fashion Show.

Competition is also big business at BETA International, with visitors taking their seats to hear the winners of the Innovation Awards – leading industry accolades designed to reward and celebrate excellence – as they are announced.

“Travelling to the show has never been easier – or more cost-effective for retailers paying us a visit,” added James. “There are regular flights from John F Kennedy International Airport to Birmingham International Airport, for example, and a fantastic choice of hotels on the NEC complex – all at really competitive prices.”
This year, organisers are hosting free after-show drinks and canapés on Sunday 21 January from 6 to 8pm and would be delighted if their American visitors could join them.

Pre-registration for a free visitor pass and contact details for BETA International's dedicated accommodation booking service can be found at



A British saddle brand owner is making the gesture to American saddle fitters visiting BETA International.

Vale Brothers is offering to pay for one night’s accommodation for US and other non-UK saddle fitters who visit next month’s BETA International.

Based in Walsall, UK, Vale Brothers owns the Harry Dabbs and Jeffries saddle brands. A Harry Dabbs Platinum Mariella Dressage saddle is pictured.

While calling at Vale Brothers’ stand (M4.1) during BETA International, saddle fitters can also pick up a free Flexi-curve plus a free gift (while stocks last). This booth is right next to the champagne bar!

To find out more contact

These top British brands will be among a strong showing of saddlery and leatherwork at BETA International 2018 on 21 – 23 January.

A saddle fitting seminar, conducted by master saddler and fitting guru Kay Hastilow during the show at the NEC, Birmingham, is open to all visitors.

Attending BETA International is free on pre-registration at



As American and Britain unite to celebrate the engagement of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, polo themed products could be in high demand next year. Here’s why…

It’s long been known as the sport of princes. And, indeed, a high goal polo match in Ascot, England was the setting for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first public appearance together.

Prince Harry is a keen and highly accomplished polo player. Meghan has so far confined her participation to cheering him on from the side-lines.

However, the British press was reporting earlier this summer that the Suits star had been offered polo lessons by Prince Harry’s friend and former England international Malcolm Borthwick.

The happy couple’s wedding is planned for next Spring, with a date in May looking most likely. Meanwhile expect plenty of polo related pictures to pop up in pre-wedding media coverage - promoting gear themed with the sport and surrounding lifestyle.

At BETA International 2018, retailers can find everything from the technical equipment required, such as sticks and pads, to polo themed leisure goods and clothing.

Accessories such as the distinctive multi-coloured polo belts are a must-have stock item for next Spring – especially for retailers wishing to celebrate a royal romance.

Pictured is an example from new BETA International exhibitor, Walsall wholesaler Saddlery Trade Services (STS).



A well-known British wholesaler is to present informative talks on its stand at BETA International 2018.

Abbey England is to host two Ask the Experts talks on leather and saddlery on its stand during BETA International next month (21 – 23 January).

The company - an advocate of traditional British manufacturing - supplies tools, leather and materials to the saddle-making industry.

Speakers include Mike Dodd, sales director at technical leathers manufacturer Pittards.

For his presentation on Leather and Its Uses on Sunday at 10.30am and Monday at 3pm, Mike will be joined by Richard Farrow. Richard is the former managing director of Sedgwick & Co, producer of British hand-finished leather and now part of the Clayton Leather Group.

A second talk - Saddlery Training and the State of UK Production – A Bright View of the Future will be presented by Mark Romain of The Saddlery Training Centre and Patrick Byrne of The Worshipful Company of Saddlers. Timings are Sunday at 3pm and Monday at 10.30am.

Each presentation will include a question and answer session.

“Traditional manufacturing is at the heart of the Abbey England business and securing the future of these techniques and practices is vital,” said a company spokesman.



Network or relax; the choice is yours as BETA International organisers lay on after-hours drinks and nibbles for everyone.

Exhibitors and visitors are invited to join the BETA International organising team, friends and colleagues for free after-show drinks on Sunday 21 January from 6 to 8pm.

Glasses of bubbly, soft drinks and canapés will be served at the Fashion Show stage.

“This is the first time we have held this event, which promises plenty of valuable networking and the opportunity to toast the successful first day of business,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“There is no need to book beforehand – simply come along on the day and take your place at this informal, friendly gathering over a drink and nibbles.”

The BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) Business Awards and Gala Dinner, which traditionally happened on the evening of the first day of BETA International, is on Monday 22nd January, 2018.



Equestrian non-profits invited to attend free launch at trade show.

The American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA) announced today that it will launch the new AETA Gives program at the upcoming AETA International Trade Show to be held January 27 – 29, 2018 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA.

AETA Gives is a new initiative of the association to connect individuals and businesses with equestrian causes, issues, people and organizations that are important to the industry. AETA’s first goal with the launch of AETA Gives is to raise awareness of the important work that non-profits are doing in the equine industry; and to connect them with those who are dealing in equestrian trade.

“AETA’s long-time mission has been Uniting Equestrian Trade,” explains AETA Board of Directors President Kelly Herd. “AETA Gives is another way that we can foster building networks within the industry to grow the industry.”

The association will launch AETA Gives on Saturday, January 27 at 6 p.m. at a networking reception immediately following the first day of its January 2018 Trade Show. The reception will feature an expo of non-profit organizations that are making a difference in the equine industry. “Retailers and manufacturers can mix and mingle with each other and representatives from non-profit equestrian organizations,” said Herd. There will be complimentary food and a cash bar at the kick-off event.

“The great thing about AETA Gives is that it will broaden our collective network,” said Herd, who pointed out that charitable giving can be an important part of any good marketing plan. “Whether it is a local horse therapy group or a national initiative, supporting an equestrian non-profit is a way to connect with your business with the industry.” Herd noted that support is whatever makes sense for an individual business, and can range from helping raise awareness to educating supporters, inspiring advocacy and financial support. “We want to help connect people with equestrian initiatives that they care most about.”

Equestrian non-profit organizations can participate for free at the January 27 AETA Gives reception. Contact AETA Events Director Lori Zelesko at 717-724-0204 or for more information. Information about the AETA International Trade Show can be found



Great exchange rates and a huge selection of exclusive show offers can really help US companies to offset the cost of visiting BETA International and allow them to take their place at this global industry gathering.

“The dollar is now worth 14% more against the pound compared with two years ago and this, coupled with financial savings offered by the show's exhibitors to buyers, can really help US visitors to make their money go further,” said BETA International sales manager James Palmer.

“Travel and accommodation from the US to Birmingham has never been easier – or more cost-effective. There are flights from John F Kennedy International Airport to Birmingham International Airport from as little as $457* return and hotels on the NEC complex available from around $136.10.**

As BETA International takes place in three halls at the NEC, it is perfectly placed for easy access from both the airport and Birmingham International Railway Station, which is only a 10-minute walk away.

The NEC complex itself offers a fabulous range of hotels designed to suit the individual needs of travellers, with most establishments in easy walking distance and served by a regular return shuttle bus service to the show.

“Birmingham is one of the UK's most vibrant cities, with an eclectic mix of cultural activities and entertainment right on the doorstep” added James. “There's plenty of opportunity to tag some sightseeing on to a trade fair visit and, with London only one-and-a-half hours away by train, a visit to the capital is well in reach.”

BETA International is the world's leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2018 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, UK, from 21 to 23 January. For further information, visit or contact Clair Webster, email or telephone +44 (0)1937 582111.

* & ** - both prices correct at time of publication, but these may be subject to fluctuation.



Innovative ranch and garden range available across North America.

Performance footwear specialist Grub’s has a new distribution arrangement with VSI.

The partnership is to offer ranch and garden styles to North American retailers.

A member of the Duravet group, VSI has associates throughout the USA and Canada. The company has a Canadian licence for animal medicine.

Said David Foster of Grub’s: “We are very excited about this new distribution partnership with VSI, a company that is very well respected and has fantastic contacts and arrangements that will really help to promote the range and brand in the USA.”

VSI was incorporated in 1960 by vets Willis D. Woodward and Donald W. Rosenberg, plus Frank G. Sweetman, a former sales representative for Van Waters and Rogers.

They formed VSI to sell poultry related health products. Subsequently, John E. Pugliese, while working for Merck, joined them in 1962.

Today, the company supplies a broad range of products to more than 3,000 retailers in the beef, dairy and poultry sectors as well as feed supply and pet stores.



The Society of Master Saddlers is offering training to saddle retailers and equine professionals.

The Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) is to run an Introductory Saddle Fitting Course in the USA next year.

The course will take place in Hagerstown, Maryland on 13 – 15 April, 2018.

It will cover a series of useful and educational topics, including:

• Saddle construction, tree design and types of leather.
• Identifying faults in saddles.
• Physiology of the horse's back.
• Horse identification and maintaining records.
• Safe handling of the horse.
• Anatomy of the horse.
• The horse in movement.
• Principles of saddle fitting.
• How to present and 'run up' the horse; movement and conformation.
• Practical back assessment.
• Template taking.
• Practical saddle fitting of a variety of horses

The course will be delivered by SMS Saddle Fitting lecturers, veterinarians and qualified instructors. A certificate of attendance will be awarded on completion.

Retailers who are selling saddles manufactured by an SMS trade member, and who have the required three years’ experience in saddle fitting, will be eligible to go forward to the Society of Master Saddlers’ Overseas Retailers Qualified Saddle Fitters Course held in the UK.

“The aim of the course is to make available the basic principles of the SMS recommended saddle fitting system, as adopted by SMS Registered Qualified Saddle Fitters in the UK, to those with an interest in the equine industry,” said an SMS spokesman.

“The course is suitable for those wishing to regulate their fitting procedures, and for those entering the saddle fitting field or for horse professionals wishing to further their education.”

Candidates should have an interest in the equine industry. The course is open to all retail and associated personnel in the saddlery trade, equine professionals, therapists, massage therapists, veterinarians, farriers, trainers, and teachers. Preference will be given to those who own or are employed by a business which is retailing saddles manufactured in the UK.

To book a place contact Annette Gavin at



Helping horses live comfortably into their golden years is the aim of a new supplement

Well Blend Senior is the newest addition to The Missing Link equine supplement line from Absorbine. It’s said to offer total support for aging horses by targeting the nutritional gaps between the diet Mother Nature intended for equines and what’s available in today’s processed feeds.

Rich in omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, the new product is veterinarian-formulated.

The Missing Link uses a proprietary manufacturing and packaging process that ensures the freshly ground flaxseed inside retains maximum nutrients and remains stable without preservatives, says Absorbine.

Ingredients within The Missing Link Well Blend Senior target the specific needs of senior horses.

“Now that horses are living longer than ever, we feel some of the most important product development we do is around helping horses live comfortably into their golden years,” says Jaime McKinley at Absorbine.

“The flaxseed, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins that The Missing Link equine supplements are known for provide great support for aging horses, and the addition of glucosamine, MSM, grape seed extract and ginkgo round out the formula to more completely promote long-term health.

“We have seen very positive results from trials of Well Blend Senior, and feel it will offer horse owners a great option towards overall wellness for their horses later in life.”



Organisers have just announced some of the new names and returning exhibitors for the 2018 trade fair.

Brands to be seen at BETA International will include new names and some not seen at the show for a while.

For the first time in 12 years, Woof Wear is to exhibit. Westgate EFI (home of Mark Todd) and Elico Equestrian are back after a year’s break.

An eclectic mix of new exhibitors includes The Original Muck Boot Co, Walsall wholesaler Saddlery Trade Services and Omega Equine (from feed company Falcon).

Another newcomer is BUSSE Sportartikel with products for horse and rider designed in Germany.

A number of exhibitors who appeared at BETA International earlier this year will return with bigger stands in January 2018.

Musto has increased its stand size by almost 40%. Northants based leather and workshop tools supplier Tandy Leather will have a stand around 75% larger.

Stable hardware specialist A Perry is also set to occupy a much expanded stand at the show.

• To find out more about visiting or exhibiting at BETA International 2018, click onto



A North Carolina based distributor reports a surge in retail orders for socks to complete traditional Scottish outfits.

The tartan kilt – that essential item of Scottish Highland apparel - only works when worn with the right socks.

And sales of kilt socks are on the up across the USA.

Traditional kilt-maker Matt Newsome, of North Carolina based New House Highland, has also noticed a change in how people are styling their Highland dress outfits.

“People are experimenting with colour now and often order some of the more flamboyant styles,” he says.

It’s a trend that’s reflected in their choice of kilt socks, says Matt who acts as a distributor for Scottish manufacturer House of Cheviot.

The company is lining up some “new and exciting” sock designs for 2018.

At its factory in Hawick in Scotland, House of Cheviot makes 58,000 pairs of sock a year, 20% of those being kilt socks. The remainder are for the wider country market.

“Sales of kilt socks are growing year on year and are particularly popular in the USA,” says Ashley Drysdale of House of Cheviot.

House of Cheviot socks are made in Scotland from merino and cashmere yarns. Each pair passes through 12 different skilled pairs of hands.

House of Cheviot will exhibit at BETA International 2018.

New British horse feed brand set to hit the US market


Henry Bell & Co (Grantham) Ltd – a British manufacturer of premium animal feeds – is preparing to introduce its new EQUIGLO brand to the US. Designed to deliver first-class nutrition at great-value-for-money prices, EQUIGLO makes its début with Quick Soak 10 MINUTE BEET.

This 100 per cent natural British superfood made from fibre-rich unmolassed beet flakes – an ideal complementary feed for all horses and ponies.

“This product offers US retailers a fantastic opportunity to stock quality fibre feed at a really good price point,” said Simon Parker, of Henry Bell. “We have been a trusted name in the UK feed sector since 1825 and we are confident that Quick Soak 10 MINUTE BEET will prove a popular feed option, with easy-to-handle, 18kg bags and an attractive price tag.”

The high-fibre, low-sugar and starch feed is a member of the BETA NOPS assurance scheme and made from non-GM, British-grown, unmolassed and micronized sugar beet, which is highly digestible and acts as a natural probiotic in the horse’s gut.

EQUIGLO Quick Soak 10 MINUTE BEET provides a convenient source of non-heating energy for working horses and ponies all year round – and is perfect for those prone to laminitis. It is an ideal replacement for cereal-based feeds and forage, particularly for veterans with poor dentition or when quality is poor.



A new movie with an equestrian theme is set to delight horse lovers of all ages.

Savvy retailers will cash in as My Little Pony: The Movie hits big screens across the globe this month (October).

There’s clearly a market for merchandise celebrating the animated film as well as opportunity for fun in-store displays.

Once the subject of a 1980s television series, the 2017 launch of My Little Pony: The Movie means the endearing characters now appeal to mums and daughters.

Take a moment to enjoy a preview of My Little Pony: The Movie here



Companies wishing to secure a presence at BETA International 2018 are being reminded of the show's Prompt Payment Rebate Scheme, a money saving initiative designed to reduce and spread the cost of exhibiting.

To take part, a 10 per cent deposit must be paid by 22 September with the remaining balance received by 10 November. Companies that meet these deadlines will benefit from a five per cent net rebate (excluding corner stands) next March*.

“Companies that would like to take full advantage of the scheme should set the wheels in motion as soon as possible, as the cut-off point is only two weeks away,” said BETA International stand sales manager James Palmer.

“Stand allocation will begin shortly after and will be dealt with on a first come, first served basis. If we know required dimensions at this point, we can factor them in and ensure that those who meet the deposit deadline, benefit from the very best locations around the show's three large halls.”

BETA International is the world's leading trade exhibition for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2018 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, UK from 21 to 23 January. To book a stand, register at, or for further information about exhibiting, please contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email



A US Equestrian sponsor has extended its support to encompass equine pest control.

UltraShield fly sprays and masks have been named Official Fly Control Products of The United States Equestrian Federation (US Equestrian).

The new sponsorship expands upon the deal made in 2015, when Absorbine was named the Official Liniment of US Equestrian.

Absorbine celebrates 125 years of caring for horses this year, UltraShield being a big part of that history.

“We are proud that the national governing body of equestrian sport can put their trust in Absorbine products,” said Chris Jacobi, the company’s president.

“In offering this expertise in muscle care as well as fly control, we look forward to working together with US Equestrian in their mission to bring excellence to riders and equine enthusiasts across the country.”

US Equestrian’s CEO Bill Moroney said he was “thrilled” about Absorbine’s extended sponsorship.

“Absorbine has demonstrated a long history of devotion to the health and welfare of horses through the quality of product that they offer, and is exactly the type of company with which US Equestrian is proud to partner,” he said.



An established saddle fitter plans to offer all-round tack consultancy to her local equestrian community.

Lindsey Kahn, a saddle fitter based in St Paul, Minnesota, has won a Loriners’ Award from The Neue Schule Academy.

The Academy is on on-line learning initiative run by the British bits and bitting company.

Lindsey runs Safe and Sound Saddle Fit and is the state’s exclusive representative of County Saddlery.

She took the Neue Schule Academy foundation course on which her high achievement earned her a Loriners’ Award. The course covers a scientific introduction to bits, the way they operate and the impact they have on the horse's mouth.

Congratulating Lindsey and other award winners at a ceremony in London, Dr Caroline Benoist of The Academy said: “I never cease to be impressed by the way our students find time to study a subject that can be quite complicated despite having families, jobs and horses to look after. To see all their hard work recognised in this way is tremendous.”

Lindsey, an MSA (Master Saddlers Association) trained saddle fitter, offers a mobile fitting service to clients around the state of Minnesota by travelling to their farms.

“In addition to fitting new custom County saddles for clients' horses, I spend a great deal of time evaluating the balance and condition of clients' current saddles, adjusting flocking, and working alongside trainers, veterinarians, farriers and body workers to better ensure a long and healthy career for these horses,” she told ETN.

Lindsey became interested in saddle fit having experienced first-hand the effects of unsuitable tack with her own horses.

“The more I work with horses and riders of various disciplines and levels, the more parallels I find between saddle fitting and finding a suitable bit for the individual horse based on its anatomy, training and the bit design itself,” she explained.

Lindsey learned of The Academy via Christy Weflen who owns her local tack store, St. Croix Saddlery. Now the pair have agreed that it would be wonderful for the local equestrian community to have a travelling ‘tack consultant’ to find saddling and bitting solutions.

While studying via the Neue Schule Academy, Lindsey says she found the flexibility of an online course useful to fit around her busy schedule.

“The Foundation course was extremely thorough, from the history of bitting to the basics of force distribution and actions of various bits.

“The math portions of the course were quite challenging as I’m a very visual/hands on student and hadn't taken a math course since freshman year of college!”

Now Lindsey plans to complete The Academy's other courses in order to add bit analysis to the services offered by Safe and Sound Saddle Fit. (Photo: Fox River Photography).



California’s Sonoma Horse Park will be more stylish than ever later this month, thanks to a new partnership just announced.

Noel Asmar Equestrian has become official apparel partner to Sonoma Horse Park (SHP).

During the SHP Season Finale (20 – 24 September), every division champion will be awarded apparel from the equestrian lifestyle brand.

A show highlight will be the $25,000 Noel Asmar Equestrian Grand Prix on the Saturday.

Set in Californian wine country, the Sonoma Horse Park has 17 arenas. The world class facility hosts competitors from across the western USA, Canada and Mexico.

Visitors to the SHP Season Finale are invited to stop by the VIP area for complimentary local wine. They can also enjoy a trunk show during which Noel Asmar Equestrian will present its latest collections.

“We look forward to being a part of the Sonoma Horse Park experience,” says brand founder and CEO Noel Asmar. “We pride ourselves on our shared values and believe in empowering riders and enriching the equestrian experience.”

Sonoma Horse Park’s Ashley Herman remarked on the partnership: “We are thrilled. Noel Asmar Equestrian is renowned for beautifully tailored apparel and shares SHP’s commitment to excellence.”

The brand has also worked with shows at Spruce Meadows and Thunderbird Show Park.



More English exhibitors than ever will join their Western counterparts at a Denver trade show from tomorrow (8 September).

The English contingent continues to grow at the traditionally strongly themed Western WESA show to run in Denver, Colorado this weekend (8 – 10 September).

The bi-annual (January and September) market remains 70% Western compared with 30% English.

However, as WESA executive director Amy Dill told ETN: “We are gaining in English exhibitors and have more this [time] than we’ve ever had at a September market.”

In total, more than 300 exhibitors and 1,100 buyers from 500 stores are expected to participate in the upcoming WESA (Western & English Sales Association) apparel and equipment trade show.

WESA also offers information and education for retailers and exhibitors via seminars and demonstration.



ETN spoke to exhibitors at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center on 12 – 14 August where AETA has a new organizing team in place.

For the first time last month, the August AETA market was run for the trade, by the trade.

For 11 years, the biannual show was put on by Hopper Expositions for its owner, the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA).

But this year’s fixtures [the first was in January] have seen AETA take back control and organize its own fair.

The move has appeared to evoke a spirit of togetherness; a feeling that everyone should pull together.

“AETA’s organisers have made a great effort, and I thank them for that,” said Peter Wilkes of Vale Brothers.

He called on more retailers to back AETA in its efforts – and was by no means the only exhibitor to do so.

“I’d like the US dealers to support the show more. Meanwhile all exhibitors need to look at how they can encourage higher attendance levels.”

Peter added that he has pre-show plans to “liven things up” next year. “We should all take responsibility for the show’s results.”

Asked about visitor numbers, “quiet” was the most often quoted response from exhibitors.

However, the consensus is that AETA remains a reliable route to US retailers. Every exhibitor ETN spoke to said they would return in 2018.

“I would certainly rank the show as successful in helping us to reach the American market,” said Richard Brown of UK based Abbey England. “The order take was good.”

Asked what he’d like to see done differently, Richard remarked: “Trade shows need to stop looking like a clothing show and return to the saddlery core business with saddlers, bridle-makers and general supplies being more apparent.”

He went on to pledge the support of Abbey England – a workshop supplies specialist – to help achieve this.

At Horze Finntack, Rune Stadven said that although AETA was “quiet”, this Scandinavian company had “booked appointments, and therefore we got sales.”

He added: “AETA have to challenge themselves and get more visitors.”

A call for change was voiced by Marcus Cridland at UK based Shires Equestrian too.

“It was 100% better than last August, but footfall was still down,” he told ETN. “We just found that the retailers who visited our stand placed orders.”

AETA has traditionally been a biannual show [held in January and August], something Marcus believes should be reviewed.

“The January show is usually the strongest, and if there was one show per year, it would attract more visitors.

“There are some exhibitors who wouldn’t share my views on this, and their opinions would differ due to seasonal product ranges etc.”



An equestrian trade show due to be held this month has been called off, despite its experienced organisers “trying everything.”

The August 2017 Charlotte International Equestrian Market has been cancelled.

It was due to be held in North Carolina on 5 -7 August – just days before the AETA International Trade Show (12 - 14 August) at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.

The Charlotte markets were run by experienced trade show organiser Kent Hopper’s Hopper Expositions. But following an inaugural event in February, support appeared to fall away.

“We have tried everything that we can think of to make this event a success,” said Kent on announcing the cancellation.

“Our main problem was the fact that the larger exhibiting companies would not commit their support and participation.”

Kent Hopper’s track record of organising English and Western trade shows dates back to 1992 when he joined Stan Stein’s Stanley Expositions.

Having left in 2005 to form Hopper Expositions, Kent began a nine year working relationship with the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA). Notable trade shows included those in the King of Prussia.

This year, Hopper Expositions struck out with its own shows - what have turned out to be the short-lived Charlotte International Equestrian Markets.

Meanwhile the AETA International Trade Show, due to go ahead this month, is now owned and run by the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA)



A company has been firing up new furnace capacity its 180 year old foundry to create brass giftware.

Abbey England has installed a larger capacity furnace at its 180 year old foundry in Walsall, UK.

The move enables the company to introduce British-made brass giftware at the AETA trade show next week (5 – 7 August).

Abbey England – a longstanding champion of British manufacturing – is making gifts in brass for the home and garden. Examples designed to enhance equestrian retailers’ stock include sundials and country style door knockers.

Also on offer hot from the Abbey foundry are bespoke solid brass coasters, which make great wedding favors and corporate gifts.

Expansion of its foundry has also enabled Abbey England to hire three additional craftspeople, taking its workforce to a total of 55.

“We are looking forward to entering new markets and excited about the opportunities which lie ahead,” said managing director Richard Brown.

Abbey England also produces buckles and fittings for the equestrian and fashion trades.


A new partnership is set to foster even stronger connections between a popular brand and the equestrian community.

Kerrits Equestrian Apparel has announced a new partnership with e-commerce holding company Tenth Avenue Commerce (TAC).

Kerrits’ founder and CEO Kerri Kent, the company’s management team and staff remain in place.

“We’re now able to invest more in building deeper relationships with our customers and move forward with several new initiatives,” said Kerri of the new partnership.

TAC invests in leading brands across various industries, bringing its expertise in data-driven digital marketing to each partnership.

“We’re committed to collaborating with a company who strives to produce their goods in the US and has such a deep connection with their customers,” said TAC’s CEO Michael Chapin.

“We look forward to working with the current staff at Kerrits to help the brand grow.”

Founded in 1986, Kerrits is based in the Columbia River Gorge. The company is a member of the Equestrian Land Conservancy, uses ethically produced fabrics and manufactures the majority of its products in the US.

TAC, an affiliate of Tenth Avenue Holdings, is based in New York and Connecticut.

Founded in 2011, TAC owns and operates From You Flowers, Eve’s Addiction, H. Bloom, Brook & York, Send Flowers and Social Media Link.



The co-owner of a saddlery store has been praised for her contribution to rider safety.

Patty Cameron of Gallops Saddlery has been named Charles Owen Helmet Fitter of the Month.

Patty has co-owned the Tigard, Oregon store with Diane Snow for 18 years.

Charles Owen commended Patty’s dedication to ensuring that each of their customers leaves the store with a safe, well-fitted helmet.



The sight of New York police officers riding in a certain style of saddle is boosting retail sales across the USA.

US retailers are benefiting as numerous US Police Departments, including the NYPD, choose to ride in Bates’ traditional Australian stock saddles.

Sales of the Bates Outback have “dramatically increased” since larger seat sizes were introduced in May this year. The new models also have heritage style leather.

“Police Departments are choosing these saddles for the benefit of their horses’ backs and riders’ seats over numerous hours in the saddle,” said Ellen Bates, president of Saddlery Brands International (SBI) – the US distributor of Bates Saddles and Wintec Saddles.

SBI also reports brisk sales of the Wintec 250 All Purpose since an updated, modern looking model was launched in May 2017.

The Bates and Wintec saddle brands will be at AETA on 12 – 14 August.



With an international airport on its doorstep, American companies have easy access to the world’s leading B2B show for the equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet product sectors.

BETA International 2018 (21-23 January) is the annual global buying and business platform located in Birmingham, the heart of the UK. It’s the perfect place to launch your business or increase its profitability.

With around 4,500 ABC-audited visitors – mainly key buyers and decision makers – and approximately 300 exhibitors from the UK and overseas, BETA International offers an unmissable opportunity to source innovative, new products and take part in this ultimate trade gathering held over three busy days, all under one roof.

This is a great time for American companies to get on board and secure a share of the UK's £4.3 billion ($5.5 billion) equestrian market. Exchange rates are extremely favourable and the show continues to be the launch pad for some of the finest and most inspiring new products and brands.

BETA International is also extremely accessible, with Birmingham International Airport literally next door and good-quality hotels – serviced by shuttle buses – on the doorstep, and visiting retailers can apply for free tickets.

“We’re really looking forward to welcoming you on 21 to 23 January,” says James Palmer, BETA International sales manager.



British royal Princes William and Harry love the game – and now polo themed accessories are being snapped up by retailers across the US.

Luxury South American inspired lifestyle brand pampeano has seen sales rocket by 328% following its US debut earlier this year.

Its expertly hand-crafted leather pieces can now be found in 14 cities across the country.

pampeano's pieces can be recognised by Aztec pampa diamond patterns hand-woven on leather using wax-dipped saddlery threads.

First seen on pampeano’s leather polo belts, the theme carries through to its bags, wallets, washbags and keyrings.

Pampa diamonds represent the peaks and troughs of the Andes Mountain range.



Award winning retailer signs off after a career in which she’s helped make riders safer.

Julie Mickler, of Kentucky based Bob Mickler’s, was named Charles Owen Helmet Fitter of the Month, on the eve of her retirement.

Julie is described by the helmet manufacturer as “a true team player when it came to fitting customers with the safest helmets.”

She worked with many local groups, including student jockeys from Keeneland Training Center, to ensure they wear correctly fitted helmets.

The Charles Owen Helmet Fitter of the Month award is a global accolade. It’s awarded monthly to retailers who go the extra mile in pursuit of rider safety and customer satisfaction.

BETA International 2018 sponsors

Equestrian Trade News (ETN) is the world's leading
equestrian, country clothing and pet product trade publication


The British Equestrian Trade Association – recognised as the official representative for the equestrian manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade.

BETA International – the world’s leading trade fair for the equestrian, country clothing and pet product sectors.

British Equestrian Directory – an online directory with more than 10,000 contacts from the world of horse, pet and country.

Equestrian Trade News, East Wing, Stockeld Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS22 4AW.
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